The number of collisions between vehicles and aircraft at airports has been increasing for years. Towing vehicles collide with the landing gear of long-haul jets, stairs are driven onto aircraft with too much force, resulting in dents in the outer skin. The result: Machines have to be repaired and fail.

The main reason for this development is the increase in air traffic. Logically, because more aircraft in the air means more on the ground. In addition, in many cases the turnaround times of the aircraft, i.e. the time they spend on the ground, are reduced. It’s getting hectic. There is usually no intention behind it.

However, if it hits the same airline multiple times, there could be more to it. The Nigerian Air Peace suspects that.

On January 4, an employee of the ground handler Nahco had rammed the A320 with the registration ES-SAZ with a stair car so hard that the fuselage and elevator were so badly damaged that the jet had to be repaired for ten days.

“This is the third time in a month that one of our planes has been down,” an airline spokesman told Nigerian Flight Deck.

Air Peace speaks openly of sabotage because the Nahco employee had no reason to be where he was. He was not assigned to the plane. In addition, “it’s still shocking how he crashed into our plane,” the spokesman continued.

Nahco (short for Nigerian Aviation Handling Company) has drawn the first conclusions from the incident and fired the employees concerned. In addition, the ground service provider has asked the responsible supervisory and security authorities to examine the allegation of sabotage. Nahco emphasizes that it has good relations with Air Peace.

Air Peace is the largest of ten scheduled airlines in Nigeria, according to aviation data portal CH Aviation. The airline operates a fleet of 37 aircraft and flies routes within Africa in addition to numerous domestic routes. Dubai is the airline’s most distant destination. The Nigerians are operating the affected aircraft on a wet lease from Latvia’s Smart Lynx.

This article was written by Benjamin Recklies

The original of this article “Airport workers demolish jets! Airline suspects sabotage” comes from aeroTelegraph.